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Digital Workplace Services Driving the Employee Experience

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NelsonHall recently completed an in-depth analysis of advanced digital workplace services (DWS). This blog looks at some of the key findings from this research, in which we spoke both to leading IT services vendors and clients of their services.

Changing workforce expectations are driving DWS transformation

Organizations are deploying digital workplace services to improve productivity and efficiency while also improving the overall employee experience with more self-service tools, more personalized support, and gamification methods. Offering a digital workplace is also key to attracting new talent.

Employees’ experiences in their personal lives in using mobile devices and AI assistants such as Alexa and Cortana are driving similar expectations at the workplace. There are three engagement models for offering personalized support:

  • Proactive & predictive (remote monitoring, self-healing, RPA, AI and intelligent automation, predictive analytics)
  • Self-service (portal-based, mobile support apps, virtual agents, knowledge items)
  • Specialist on-site support (e.g. Tech Cafes, smart lockers, IT vending machines, video support, smart FM).

There is also an increasing focus in contract agreements on business-aligned ‘XLAs,’ or experience-level agreements (i.e. on user journey quality including zero-time-fix, user hours saved and marginal gain methodology).

Maximizing value from DWS requires collaboration across the enterprise

The buying profile of organizations is evolving as they endeavor to enable more collaborative working by their employees. Where traditionally central IT would drive services as a means to improve cost, IT is now adopting the role of a service broker, offering self-serve capabilities to end-users to provision the services needed, when the end-users want, and how they want.

Recent developments include engaging with marketing and communications departments and using gamification as a means to improve adoption of self-service tools, and with HR for more efficient on-boarding and off-boarding of employees. In addition, collaborating with facilities management to drive the adoption of smart offices (smart conference and booking facilities) and intelligent space management and wayfinding solutions through beacons and sensors.

Design thinking takes personalization even further

Many vendors are now engaging with their clients through collaborative design thinking workshops to generate ideas to improve the end-user experience. This includes the use of ethnographers to understand the profile of target clients and their needs and priorities, including self-serve portal creation. We expect vendors will ramp their design thinking capabilities over the next 12 months.

Social collaboration tools are an important part of UX

There is also growing demand to enable workers to collaborate more effectively through tools such as Yammer, Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Hangout, G-Suite, Skype for Business, SharePoint, WhatsApp, and Microsoft Teams to drive better collaboration across projects and improve end-user experience. Vendors are developing social and collaboration platforms to integrate various social collaboration platforms into one and partnering with disruptors in the market, such as Google. It is evident some vendors are further ahead of the curve than others in this area, with some having already implemented dedicated social collaboration platforms to improve UX.

Windows 10 migration services will continue to ramp

Windows 10 migration has been high on the agenda for some time now, with the end of Windows 7 support in January 2020 forcing the move to Windows 10. Windows 10 provides added security, along with device flexibility and improved UX. There will be a significant uptick in migration rates for the laggards.

Recent developments have also seen the introduction of Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD), which enables organizations to allow Microsoft to manage their Windows 10 devices. Microsoft also introduced Windows Virtual Desktop on Azure, allowing organizations to run Windows 10 virtual desktops on the Azure platform.

Field services will play an important role in targeting IoT-enabled workplace opportunities

The role of field services is evolving with an increasing deployment of field engineers on servicing IoT-enabled solutions such as wayfinding type ones for smart offices and smart facilities. Their activities include installation, management, and maintenance of sensors and beacons in support of these initiatives. We anticipate vendors will also develop further use cases for AR/VR services in the field for remote technical support and training.

Future developments

The DWS market has evolved considerably in recent years with changing workforce expectations driving a greater personalization of services with a higher propensity to adopt AI, cognitive, ML and analytics technologies through a collaborative approach to improve the employee experience.

This evolution continues, with greater use of models including zero-touch service desk enabled through AI, smart offices, and increased use of IoT-enabled devices, AI and AR/VR in the field.

Also expect to see new technologies such as Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD) and VDI on Azure gain substantive traction, and Amazon and Google becoming major disruptors in DWS.

Comments to this post:

  • Excellent perspective and one that aligns very closely with Unisys' Managed Workplace Services! Providers must recognize these trends and work collaboratively with their clients to offer solutions that help facilitate an improved experience.

    Jun 11, 2019, by Brenda Celeste

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